New study: recent tax plan, Republicans’ health care sabotage lead to double-digit premium hikes for Hoosiers

INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosiers who face higher premiums for health care on the marketplaces this year have only Republicans to blame, according a new report, after GOP efforts to sabotage our nation’s health care system have caused year-on-year premium increases of 19%.

A new study from the Urban Institute found that the combination of changes to the health care law created by the McConnell tax plan and the creation of bare-bones short-term health care plans by the current administration will lead to a 19.6% increase in premiums in Indiana. The changes will also make it easier for insurance companies to exclude people with pre-existing conditions.

These policy changes, combined with the Trump Administration’s decision to end crucial payments that keep premiums down for low-income Hoosiers, will mean that 702,000 Hoosiers will be uninsured in 2019, as well as 6.4 million Americans nationwide, according to the study.

The changes outlined by the Urban Institute are part of an ongoing effort from Republicans like Congressmen Messer and Rokita to sabotage the country’s health care marketplace. After the GOP failed to pass their disastrous and unpopular health care overhaul last year, Republicans have been working overtime to create uncertainty in our nation’s health care system by first threatening to withhold and then stopping crucial subsidies that keep insurance affordable.

Two of the four expected insurers for Indiana’s marketplaces pulled out last summer, citing Republican-caused uncertainty. One that planned to provide coverage for Hoosiers said that in a normal year, it would only have to raise rates by two percent – but thanks to the unclear environment, it needed to raise rates by more than 15% instead. Nearly half of Hoosiers who had signed up for insurance on the marketplaces last year had relied on the payments withheld by Republicans and the administration.

“The continued sabotage of our health care system by Republicans like Congressmen Messer and Rokita is taking its toll on Hoosier families with skyrocketing, double-digit premium hikes,” said Michael Feldman, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Hoosiers are glad that the Republican health care overhaul went down in flames last summer. They’re not happy that Republicans responded by showing that they’ll make it hard for Hoosiers to access affordable health care purely out of spite.”